Thursday, April 11, 2013

Tilmon Farrow, Again

Wow! Yesterday I wrote a few sentences about Tilmon Farrow. Then I did some research. It's all a little confusing, but now I'm on a mission to unravel the mystery. Here is what I've learned:
  • In 1835 Wilson Tilmon Farrow, Sr. wrote a lengthy letter to an attorney in Boston, requesting his help regarding a "rascality" on Ocracoke that had something to do with the "robbing" of a vessel.
  • Islanders somehow involved in this affair included William Howard (grandson of Ocracoke's first William Howard), his son-in-law Captain Elijah Chase, John Pike (island shopkeeper), and Jacob Gaskill (Ocracoke's Justice of the Peace). 
  • Elijah Chase, descendant of prominent New England sea captains, and his wife Thurza Howard had left the state heading west, and "cannot be found."
  • Allegations were made about "a warrant against one Capt. Weeks for an uncurrent [outdated or illegitimate] bank bill which Gaskins [Gaskill?] said the Capt. has passed to him."
  • Tilmon Farrow wants to "add to the case Willis Williams...."

  • In 1837 Jacob Gaskill gets into an argument with Willis Williams (Gaskill's cousin), and shoots him in the neck. Williams dies immediately. This is Ocracoke's first murder. 
  • Tilmon Farrow is married to Anna Credle
  • When Anna dies in 1845 Tilmon Farrow marries her sister Dorcas Credle, widow of Willis Williams.
  • Anna and Dorcas have an older brother named Tilmon Farrow Credle (there must be a family connection). 
  • Tilmon Farrow's son, Edward, marries Lucretia Credle Wahab, niece of Thurza Howard Chase.
I may never solve the mystery (what ship was robbed, what connections do all of these people have with each other and with the alleged crime, what was the argument that led to the murder, how does it all fit together, etc.) but it's fun trying...good mental exercise, like playing detective.

I'll keep you posted if I make any headway.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a video of Philip Howard telling the story of the 1861 wreck of the Black Squall. You can watch it here:


  1. Toni W.6:23 AM

    You have my curiosity up!!

  2. Anonymous9:01 AM

    What other murders were in Ocracoke?

    1. I knew I would get this question! Bob Salter was killed by a shipwrecked sailor in 1861. And there was an unsolved murder in the early 1970s.

  3. Anonymous11:52 AM

    Oh the lawyers out there will say a defendant is found guilty of the murder charge. The term murder (charge) and a homicide are often used interchangeably unfortunately then there is manslaughter and a murder of crows.

    1. Jacob Gaskill was convicted of "felonious slaying." You can read more here:

  4. Anonymous11:03 PM

    This is even better than History Detectives on PBS. I love gossip!
    Retrogossip that is...the kind where nobody gets hurt.
    Hey, I say anybody dead for over a hundred years is fair game.

  5. Anonymous2:32 PM

    Elisha Chase is buried on my farm near Portland, MO. I got the information when I bought the place and got the deed. I am trying to find any information on him.
    Shelly Van Booven at

    1. Shelly, I just sent you an email. If you do not get it, please leave another message.